Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Time runs out for Brian Coleman

The Station clock at Burnt Oak tube station
Yesterday, I peered up at the station clock at Burnt Oak tube station. This magnificent copper device with a Roman numeral typeface has seen many changes in the years since it was first installed. It showed a time of five to two. When I first started working, two o'clock was chucking out time in the pubs. Licensing laws used to "encourage" us to return to our desks at 2pm. In fact, the last orders bell usually signalled a frantic round of drinks buying as people desperately tried to fit every last drop of booze in before the dreaded closing time bell.

It looks to me rather like Brian Coleman is adopting the same strategy as time runs out on his £53,000 a year job at the GLA. Reports that he appeared in High Barnet at the weekend demanding the removal of posters complaining of his parking charges, from the windows of hard pressed retailers, squashed by his parking fees, sounded like the drunk, desperately counting out the pennies before the bell is rung.

His rival, Andrew Dismore confided in me that he is worried that Coleman is so unpopular that people will become complacent. He fears that if the weather is bad, his supporters won't bother to vote. I have no such fears. The people, such as Helen Michael of Cafe Buzz, who Coleman has alienated, are highly motivated. They would dance to the polling booths, through a hurricane, if it meant the end of Coleman and his parking policies.

I had a bizarre conversation with a local Conservative at the weekend, which demonstrates a complete detachment from reality. They told me that "Brian Coleman is more popular than ever" and that "many people who had never even voted before were flocking to his cause". I was intrigued, I asked why "because they are fed up with all of the people moaning about him!".

So there you go. Brian Coleman's tactic is "If you upset enough people, you'll get a whole new legion of voters". I was intrigued. I asked if they could introduce me to one of these newBrian Coleman voters. "Of course not, we don't share our supporters details with bloggers". I said that I didn't want their details, I just wanted to interview them, so that I could add some balance to my blog. "They don't want to talk to bloggers". I was surprised "Have you asked them that? They seem upset with our criticisms".

I suspect that these phantom voters are rather like Robert Rams imaginary library. But I will say this. If you are planning to vote Tory and have never voted Tory before, because you are upset with the criticism of Brian Coleman, I'd love to interview you. Please get in touch


Mr Mustard said...

I don't think that your day in the office will get disturbed Roger by hordes of, or even a single, new Brian supporter.

Don't Call Me Dave said...

I have stated in other places that people underestimate Brian Coleman at their peril. Most residents do not read blogs or local newspapers. They might well be mightily pissed off with the parking charges, but how many of them could tell you who was responsible for introducing them?

The ABC campaign should have started months ago.

On the issue of Coleman’s allowances, journalist Andrew Gilligan has suggested that even if Coleman loses his GLA seat, Boris might keep him on as Chairman of LFEPA. This would be an affront to democracy, but all the political parties have trampled over our democratic rights for years, so this possibility should not be ruled out. Let us not forget that Ken also used his position as Mayor to appoint his cronies to top jobs.

baarnett said...

Minor additional point:

Brain also trousers some money from being on the regulatory board of the "North London Waste Authority", (which is apparently as much a "local authority" as the normal geographical ones). Goodness knows how he got that.

Ken Leavingsoon said...

And, DCMD, the rank amateurs at 'CPZ Action' are taking down all of their posters as they 'don't have the right to use the image'!

The real danger with social media, as the 'Arab Spring' lot in Egypt are fast losing is talking a small bunch of people into a frenzy can't be mistaken for talking to the voters at large.

As people know, our high streets are deserted so posters in windows there are not exactly potent.